A circular economy pioneer has picked up one of the top spots in a global competition to find transformational ideas from everyday people.

The CHASING GENIUS platform, from GSK Consumer Healthcare and National Geographic, seeks solutions to the world’s biggest societal problems. Thousands of applicants submitted a short video showcasing their ideas for overcoming three of the toughest challenges: creating a sustainable planet, feeding nine billion, and improving global health.

The four winners collect $25,000 each to take forward their vision and one of those is Asta Skocir. She wants to tackle the pollution caused by the textile industry through her AlgiKnit platform, which uses kelp to produce a textile that fits into a closed-loop lifecycle

And innovations like these are vital to reverse the negative environmental impact made by the textile industry. In America alone a staggering 85% of apparel is ending up in landfill, with the materials used to produce them woefully incompatible with efforts to shift towards a sustainable planet.

Theresa Agnew, chief marketing officer US at GSK Consumer Healthcare, said: “It’s inspiring to witness the passion that the entrants had for providing real solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. We look forward to seeing these genius ideas become reality.”